By: State Senator Ives – July, 2018
One of my budgetary priorities this year was to increase funding for the Foster Care Parent Campaign line item in the Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget. The House Budget maintained the funding levels at $250,000.
The Senate version of the budget allocated $750,000 to expand the Foster Parent Recruitment Campaign. The funding includes provisions that the Department of Children and Families detail to the legislature by March 15, 2019 the following: (i) the number of new foster care parents as a result of the foster care campaign; and (ii) the methods in which the department is recruiting foster care parents.
The differences between the House and Senate budgets is now being negotiated and reconciled through a Conference Committee comprised of members of the House and Senate for a final budget.
There are increasing needs for the safe placement of children due to the opioid epidemic. These funds help in promoting foster care awareness through community events and outreach, advertising and social media. It will also provide for public education on long term and short term foster care placement options, as well as emergency placement where children need a safe and stable home until the morning. This educational and recruitment campaign offers information for individuals and families to provide respite homes for children already in a foster home, but the foster parent(s) goes out of town for one or more nights.
Interested families and individuals can learn more about opportunities and can also apply online, by mail or phone. The Department of Children and Families then visits your home for a physical standards check for room and safety and conducts a background check on everyone in your home. You will then be required to attend the Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training that is offered throughout the state. A social worker will then visit your home to interview you and all household members and check references.
The Department of Children and Families conduct several informational sessions throughout the state for people to attend and find out more about becoming a foster parent. Even a safe home for 24 hours can give a child a sense of comfort. There are number of ways people can get involved and provide a loving home for our most vulnerable. This funding is essential in that recruitment. For more information please visit:
Senator O’Connor Ives can be contacted at: KATHLEEN.OCONNORIVES@MASENATE.GOV